A lovely breakfast of porridge and eggs (not fried for a change!) set us up for the morning. The owner also mentioned that Bradley Wiggins lives five doors down. I wondered out loud if he would have any advice for us to which I got the pithy reply 'Train'. Doing our best to follow this helpful hint we played a long game of 'chase the A6'. We were soon in Preston looking a bit uncertain as we tried to not drop too much time getting lost when a lady on her daily commute pointed us in the right direction. We sprinted off to try and look respectable but were soon waiting for lights at the next junction when she pulled up alongside and made sure we still knew where to go.
By now we had been on the road for a number of days and were quite used to turning the cranks and arriving at destinations. This left the question of what we remember of the actual journey itself and the slightly dull answer is 'not much'. In fact we couldn't recall many specific thoughts during the hours of motion, just a blur of checking the speedometer, watching the wheel in front, changing grip on the handle bars and tarmac passing by. Not quite the insightful comment on our surroundings that you might have hoped for. Still this tactic took us into Lancaster where we popped into a running shop to stock up on electrolyte powder and were told about a guy who had popped in recently who was running LeJog in nine days. It was no surprise that he was looking for some physiotherapy. My guess is that all he remembers is 'ouch'. Moving on for a cup of tea where an old lady asked 'where are you heading?', preparing ourselves to be impressive we replied 'Carlise' and were somewhat deflated with her reply 'oh, not so bad that is it?'. Only another 75 miles! Perhaps she had talked to the running guy recently.
With half a mind of how far we had to go today we didn't hang around and were soon rolling up to Kendal on good roads into a slight head wind. Once there we stopped at a nice cafe which had everything, a tantalising menu, seats outside in the sun and a charming individual character. As is so often the case in this situation we found that all of this was at the expense of service. With much glancing at watches and general muttering not only did our food arrive but also a couple of penny farthings. These guys were also doing LeJog and we spent a long time chatting to the owners of these optomistic machines. One was a restored bike and the other a replica, the latter owner sporting a lovely handle bar moustache. We left wondering how they handled a side wind and also avoid going over the top when applying the fairly inadequate brakes.
Finally getting underway we started the long crawl up Shap summit. Luckily we were in the sun and sheltered from most of the breeze which otherwise would have been gently trying to persuade us to have a second look at the penny farthings. With several false summits out the way we finally made it to the top to be greeted by not only the wind but also some riders coming the other way looking like they barely needed to pedal up the hill. In additional, judging by the transit with 'JogLe' smeared in the dirt at the back, they were also supported - it all seemed a bit too easy to us. With a few photos snapped we jumped on our bikes to enjoy a long well earned descent. Well earned but not well delivered was our verdict at the bottom, the wind robbing us of any eyes on stalks fun.
All that remained for the day was to roll through Penrith, stopping briefly for a snack, and then push on up to Carlise. Arriving quite worn out we got to our bed and breakfast and were taking the bikes around the back when Duncan and Colin noticed that their speedometers were recording 100 miles minus a couple of hundred yards. Clearly a situation that needed to be rectified with a few of laps of the back street. Duncan endeavored to make these his last as twice he pulled round the back of a car which to his amazement was pulling out without even looking his way. Amazement until that is I mentioned that it was a one way street after all.
After showering we headed out for a meal at Franky and Bennys where the days habit of slow service reached a crescendo. Only when I was about to ask for some matchsticks to keep my eyes open did the food finally turn up. It disappeared pretty quickly. We went back to bed early only to be briefly disturbed at 10:30pm by Steve arriving, who had no access to the rear of the property to lock his bike up so had carried it up three flights of stairs trying to look innocent just in case. Apparently Steve was a bit dissapointed after his eventless train journey that we weren't in more of a party mood and up for a beer - so speaks the person with fresh legs.